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HEIRRI (Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation)

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HEIRRI (HEIRRI (Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation))

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-08-31

The EU H2020 funded project HEIRRI – Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation – aims to promote the integration of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) within the education of future scientists, engineers and other professionals involved in the research and innovation (R&I) process. HEIRRI stresses the importance and potential of RRI as a transformative, critical and radical concept based also on the six RRI key aspects identified by the European Commission (EC) – public engagement, gender, open access, science education, ethics and governance.
RRI is an approach that anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations with the aim to foster inclusive and sustainable R&I.

HEIRRI has done an inventory of RRI teaching, including a State of the Art Review and a Database of inspiring cases (WP2). This work has been crucial for the design of the HEIRRI training programmes (WP3). The programmes have been the base for the elaboration of the teaching materials (WP4). These programmes and materials have been tested during the piloting phase (WP5). Results from these pilots have helped refine the materials at the end of the project, and they are now open to everyone via the RRI Tools website. Transversal actions of HEIRRI have been the Forum Online, communication activities, internationalisation actions and an internal evaluation. HEIRRI has organised two international conferences gathering stakeholders from all over the world to discuss about the integration of RRI in universities.

HEIRRI has a strong consortium formed by four European HEI (UNIVERSIDAD POMPEU FABRA (UPF) (ES) – Coordinating Legal Entity; UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN (UiB) (NO); AARHUS UNIVERSITET (AU) (DK); SVEUCILISTE U SPLITU (UNIVERSITY OF SPLIT), (UNIST) (HR), INSTITUT FUER HOEHERE STUDIEN - INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES (IHS) (AT), a European network of science centres and museums – the ASSOCIATION EUROPEENNE DES EXPOSITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES TECHNIQUES ET INDUSTRIELLES (AEESTI/Ecsite) (BE), “la Caixa” Foundation (FUNDACION BANCARIA CAIXA D ESTALVIS I PENSIONS DE BARCELONA LA CAIXA) (FBLC) (ES), a network of universities (the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ASSOCIACIO CATALANA D'UNIVERSITATS PUBLIQUES) (ACUP) that chairs GUNi, the Global University Network for Innovation) and a SME specialised in innovation – INNOVATEC (ES).

The main objectives of HEIRRI, and that have been achieved, are:
1) to create an inventory of cases and practices of RRI in HEI and share it on Open Access (OA).
2) to start and spread a forum on RRI and RRI learning with online and offline activities.
3) to design RRI training programs and materials and then test them in pilot experiences.
4) to disseminate, internationalise and refine the HEIRRI programs, materials and other outcomes to: (a) encourage teaching and learning RRI; (b) spread the visibility of HEIRRI objectives and results; (c) carry out strategic actions with international networks of HEI and SC-SM; (d) improve materials and the whole project.
All deliverables were submitted as required and all milestones were successfully achieved.

Work towards objective 1. This objective is specific of WP2: “Stock taking/inventorying”, led by AU. Work was structured in three different but complementary deliverables: D2.1 'Inventory Guide of Work'; D2.2 'State of the Art Review'; and D2.3 'Database report'. AU developed a Database of 23 exemplary cases considered “to best illustrate the conclusions of the review” and to be relevant for WP3 and WP4. The Database is OA.

Work towards objective 2. This objective is pursued with the work in WP1 “Multi-stakeholder Forum”, led by AEESTI/Ecsite. Actions implemented include: Forum online, coordinated by UPF, promoting reflection about RRI online (monthly summaries of the Forum Online have been written); the two HEIRRI conferences (Barcelona 18/03/2016, Vienna 27/04/2018). These two events have been very relevant milestones for the project.

Work towards objective 3. This objective corresponds to WP3, WP4 and WP5. 10 training programmes have been designed (WP3), elaborated and complemented with in-class materials (WP4) and piloted internationally to test their applicability (WP5).

Work towards objective 4. This objective is transversal of the project. The WPs involved are WP6 “Internationalization”, WP7 “Communication and Dissemination”, and WP8 “Formative evaluation”. The main actions performed have been the development and consistent implementation of a communication and dissemination plan, the identification and outreach to specific target groups, the creation of key communication tools (blog, social media, newsletter, mailing, press review, public relations and press office), international presence in numerous conferences worldwide, and a continuous evaluation checking not only the scientific progress of the progress but also the internal functioning and interactions.
A project like HEIRRI is transformative because it has the potential to promote awareness and change attitudes towards the role of universities and the way of understanding responsible science. The outcomes of the HEIRRI project so far are a scientific publication (Mejlgaard, N., Christensen, M.V. Strand, R. et al. (2018) Teaching Responsible Research and Innovation: A Phronetic Perspective. Sci Eng Ethics) and the HEIRRI training programmes and materials (available here: The main tangible outcome of the project are the 10 training programmes, a set of high-quality teaching resources that include tutor guides, multidisciplinary cases, Problem-based Learning exercises, role play activities, and many more. Thanks to the HEIRRI work, various institutions now know about RRI and have the tools to incorporate its teaching into education, in order encourage a more responsible research and innovation system in the near future.
HEIRRI Consortium in Barcelona (26 June 2018) for the last project meeting
HEIRRI Consortium in Vienna (26 June 2017)
HEIRRI poster used in the RRI Tools final Conference in Brussels (21-22/Nov/2016)
Group photo at the 2nd HEIRRI Conference, celebrated on April 27th 2018 in Vienna
Group photo at the 1st HEIRRI Conference, celebrated on March 18th 2016, in Barcelona
Banner for the 2nd HEIRRI Conference
HEIRRI consortium at the project's kick-off meeting in September 2015